First Business News Portal in English from Nepal
KATHMANDU: The government has scrapped the licence of Nepal Satellte Telecom Pvt Ltd (Hello Nepal).The licence cancellation that came into effect from Friday follows failure by Hello Nepal to pay its longstanding dues to the government, according to Nepal Telecommunications Authority.
A meeting of the NTA board of directors on Friday decided to this effect. After the company failed to pay the dues until mid-July, the NTA on October 29, sought clarification as per the decision taken by the NTA board of directors meeting on October 22. The company was given a 15-day timeline to respond.”The company responded that the NTA could not scrap its licence and it demanded additional time period to pay the dues in instalments as decided by the Cabinet,” said NTA Spokesperson Santosh Poudel.
Unsatisfied with the response sent by the company, the NTA cancelled its licence basing the decision of the Council of Ministers in the Nepali month of Poush, 2076 (2017). The company owes dues under several headings to NTA. It has yet to pay frequency charge, royalty, amount to be deposited in the Rural Telecommunications Fund and license renewal fees.
Prior to this, in July-August, 2019, a meeting of the NTA Board of directors had decided to rescind the license of the company.As per the provision, any company can apply to the Council of Ministers for review of the NTA decision to repeal the licence within 35 days of the decision. Being based on the same provision, the company had proceeded for review. Acting on the company’s appeal, a meeting of the Council of Ministers on 6 January 2020 agreed to give a time facility to the company for proceedings towards keeping the license validated.
The company was advised to pay the first instalment within the fiscal 2019-20 and clear all dues within the next five years. In case of non-payment of dues within the given time, the licence would be automatically cancelled. Abiding by the Council of Ministers’ decision, NTA had given it five years to pay Rs 1.387 billion.
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